Derwin Neasman Jr. started working for Sumter County Government when he was only 18 years old.
He landed a summer job, helping supervise kids in day camp at Salterstown Community Center. This was after he graduated a year early from high school.
“When everybody was having fun in the summer, I was in school,” he said. “I doubled up on my classes.”
The William Thomas Academy graduate said his first job with Sumter County Government definitely required a high degree of active participation.
“It was fun and challenging,” he said, and involved helping supervise “a whole lot of kids. I definitely enjoyed it -- I like working with kids.”
He grew up with four sisters and an older brother and the ability to embrace a high-energy environment. That mindset has served him well in his other job, where he works part-time on the coaching staff at Team Robinson MMA & Fitness, training kids in martial arts.
“I enjoy it so much,” he said.
He was first exposed to martial arts at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club when he was a kid, but he wasn’t serious about it. As he got older, his mother Angela Pinkney encouraged him to try boxing and then he slowly got back into martial arts.
“And ever since then I fell in love with it,” he said. “For one, it’s confidence – a self-esteem builder, knowing I’m able to protect myself and anyone around me if anything should happen.”
He recently earned his brown belt, and he’s already working toward his black belt.
“Just to be able to say – when I earn my black belt, I can forever say I’m a black belt,” he said.
Now a 21-year-old, the Sumter native has been working in Family Court for two years and stays busy as a scanner and file clerk.
Family Court Chief Deputy Clerk Marie Witherspoon said Neasman’s upbeat and positive personality stood out during his initial interview.
“We felt he would be a good addition to Family Court and we were correct,” she said. “He picked up his job as a scanning clerk very quickly and when we implemented the new statewide Family Court system he adapted immediately. With his young age he has the potential to have a long and prosperous career with the Sumter County Clerk of Court’s Office.”
Neasman doesn’t shy from hard work wherever he is.
In describing a file he’s currently working on, he said he was simply, “In the zone.”
To earn his brown belt, he endured two hours of sparring as his techniques were carefully reviewed and scrutinized.
“And each time you get a new belt, or you’re teaching kids, you’re learning new stuff every single time,” he said. “With my job, I’m learning more and more every day about how our court system works.”
Neasman gets along well with his work family and said he finds his coworkers “very helpful.”
“I thank them so much every day,” he said.
Like many 21-year-olds, he enjoys playing video games, roller skating and going to the movies with his girlfriend.
He’s also a bit of an aficionado with watches and currently has 13 in his collection.
“My father (Derwin Neasman Sr.) started me into watches and when I was growing up, I saw him wear different watches,” he said.
He appreciates the craftsmanship and look of a well-made watch, he said, and it bolsters his confidence to sport a handsome timepiece.
“There’s nothing like a good watch,” he said. “It’s very eye-catching.”